Tentative deal reached in bus strike. (Source: CBS 5 News)
A union leader says the four-day bus strike in suburbs east of Phoenix has ended with tentative deal.
Specific details of the pact weren't immediately available.
"A service that so many rely on will run tomorrow (Monday), connecting our residents to work, and our students to their first day of school," said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. "We're pleased that First Transit and ATU reached an agreement that unifies bus service in the East Valley."
The two parties, that have been negotiating to resolve the strike, met Friday and Saturday with the federal mediator and Chief Justice McGregor.
Nick Promponas, senior vice president of First Transit, issued the following statement:
"As you know, First Transit and the ATU recommenced negotiations yesterday at 1 p.m. under the mediation of Chief Justice McGregor. After 24 hours of continuous and productive discussions, both parties came to a resolution on an agreement with a three-year term. We are confident that this agreement serves the best interests of our Union employees, the riding public, Valley Metro, and First Transit.
"While we regret that a strike was not averted during the course of the negotiations, we appreciate that the ATU has shared our desire to resume transit service throughout the community as quickly as possible. We would especially like to thank Chief Justice McGregor for mediating the session that has led to this mutually beneficial agreement.
"We would also like to thank Mayors Mitchell, Smith and Stanton, as well as Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro, for their support. We are eager to move forward in providing service to the East Valley."
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton applauded the leadership of ATU and First Transit for negotiating nonstop. "They owed it to this community and our bus passengers who keep our economy going every day," Stanton said in a statement.
First Transit and ATU 1433 inked a tentative three-year agreement Sunday afternoon that defines the labor wages, benefits and work rules for the more than 500 operators who serve 57,000 daily riders in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe. These riders also travel into Phoenix and Scottsdale.
"We are gratified that the parties were able to come to an agreement and the buses will be rolling again," said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.
The work stoppage began Thursday.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
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